How’s this different from regular microneedling?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that’s primarily used to minimize the signs of aging.
During a standard session, a dermatologist uses a special roller or device with needles to prick the skin and stimulate new collagen production. Because of this, microneedling is also known as collagen induction therapy or percutaneous collagen induction.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), as an injection or topically, can be added to the session for an additional cost. It may improve the healingTrusted Source and decrease the duration of redness and swelling seen after microneedling.
Microneedling with PRP has been shown in some studiesTrusted Source to improve outcomes in those undergoing microneedling for acne scars, but the evidence is currently inconclusive.
Read on to learn more about the benefits, costs, and possible risks of adding PRP to a microneedling treatment.
What’s this procedure used for?
Traditional microneedling is used to treat everything from age spots and wrinkles to scarring and certain forms of hyperpigmentation. PRP may boost these effects and help you achieve your desired results faster.
Although microneedling can be used to treat scars and stretch marks on other areas of the body, most studies with PRP and scars seem to be focused on treatment of the face.
The term vampire facial is typically used to refer to microneedling with PRP used topically, afterward.
Most patients are good candidates for this type of the procedure, with few contraindications to treatment existing.
It may not be the best option for you if you:
- are pregnant
- use or recently used Accutane for acne
- still have active acne resulting in new scarring
- have certain skin conditions, such as facial eczema or rosacea
- scar easily
- have a history of poor wound healing
- have undergone skin radiation in the last 12 months
Your doctor will evaluate your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for microneedling with PRP.
How do you prepare for your appointment?
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your treatment. This may include:
- avoiding unprotected and excessive sun exposure or tanning several weeks before your appointment
- drinking lots of water in the days before your appointment
- arranging a ride home from your appointment (which may not be entirely necessary depending on the office’s protocol)
- arriving with a bare face (you may cleanse that morning, but you should avoid wearing makeup or moisturizer)
- Arrive at your provider’s office at least 15 minutes before your appointment. This will give you time to finish up any last-minute paperwork or payments.
- When you’re ready, your nurse or doctor may give you a gown to change into. After cleansing your skin, your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic. This will need to set for at least 30 minutes before microneedling begins.
- Some offices may ask you to apply the anesthetic before you come into the office.
- The actual procedure involves two steps. The microneedling portion lasts about 30 minutes, depending on the areas treated. During this time your doctor will roll a professional-grade derma roller or FDA-approved device on the desired areas on your face.
- A syringe of blood will be drawn, usually from your arm, while your face is numbing. The blood is then put into a centrifuge, which separates the PRP from other components of the blood.
- The PRP solution is then massaged into the treatment area, usually after microneedling. The microneedling treatment creates small controlled micropunctures in the skin, allowing for penetration of the PRP.
- In the past, PRP has been injected into the skin, but it’s becoming more of a common practice to use it along with microneedling.
- Once the procedure is finished, your doctor may apply a serum or balm to help soothe any redness and irritation. You may also have the option to put on makeup to camouflage any temporary side effects.
- Unless an adverse reaction occurs, you’re free to go home at this point. Although many people are comfortable enough to drive home, arranging a ride home in advance can help alleviate any uncertainty.